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Thread: Water turned brown. What to do?

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    Water turned brown. What to do?

    This is my third year with pool. After first two winters my water was greenish but not too bad so i was able to start the pool in a spring .This year it was stinking swamp with frogs and green slime in it. So, I've drained it completely and filled it from my pond. The water was slightly greenish bit transparent when I've done it. I have balanced pH and added chlorine at night .The next morning water became brown. It is clear, but brown. I did some research on internet and suspect that this is iron. Our well water got a LOT of iron and manganese.

    Before proceeding with any action I want to ask fellow members for opinions.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    P.S.: I've added water from pond last year quite often due to leak, never had water visibly , brown. may be amount was not enough.

    Is this stuff good?
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Hi psi, and welcome.

    Yes, that Jacks magic is one of the two brands we recommend, and pink is most aggressive with iron. Another fav of mine is Metal Magic by proteam, which has the benefit of adding at a ph of 7.5 plus, so no need to adjust the ph.

    Do you use a tft100 or Taylor 2096 for your testing, btw?

    With either sequestrant, you may need a lot,depending on your iron level, and you will need to constantly maintain the level by adding weekly or whenever you see signs of iron stainng coming back, eg, the steps.

    However, since you're on well (and pond) its worth mentioning that the higher your ppms of iron the tougher it is to manage. Some people truck in water to help dilute, whch can get pricey.

    Do you know how many ppms of iron your well has? Do you currently have a softener system for the house?

    There are a could of tactics that migh help you get better control.

    The first two involve filtering -- for in-pool when the water has already oxidized iron fom either slamming or high ph, you could try the slimebag, a 1 micron filtering bag (The Slime Bag | The Easiest Way To Maintain Crystal Clear Pool Water. ). That would double as a good filter for the pond water too. Get the attachment to put on your return in pool to try to filter down a bit of the brown.

    The second is setting up some sediment-then-iron filters for when you top up. With high well iron, you could use a 10" housing with a 5 micron filter, and attach that one to a smaller 1 micron filter and housing. Here's a link to the big housing - both 5 and 1 micron filters are available. Pentek 150469 3/4 Scientific

    The second tip and the one I now use is to plumb the house water softener to the pool spigot permanently, and upgrade to a dual softener for the ability of constant regeneration. This gets my raw, 2 ppm well water down to about .5 ppm...which can still stain...but then with dilution and sequestrant, etc., it becomes more manageable over time, eg .3, which is roughly where I'm at now.

    One other experimental thing I'm looking into that I wouldn't normally recommend but in your case might in the future due to pond water would be alum floc. TFP doesn't normally recommend any kind of floc at all because it asks water treatment problems, can gum up your filter, is a pita to vacuum out to waste, and leaves behind sulphates, which can cause their own problems. BUT I am going to try an exeriment in a bucket test to test removal capability and will let you know how that goes.

    One way or the other, the trick s not only to sequester the iron, but to also reduce the build up/concentration of it any way you can. Sequestrant alone will not typically do that.

    And its worth mentioning for those with iron that keeping the water perfectly sanitized by sing the TFT FC:cya chart and a good test kit helps avoid problems because then you won ave to slam, which turns the water brown. Its also est to keep ph lower, eg 7.2-7.4ish to hel keep the iron in solution instead of oxidizing
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Thank you for replay. I'm using cheap kits from Big box stores. going to order the good one soon. We use water softener for the house and it does the job. Otherwise water is yellow. The iron in a water is twice the norm and manganese is much higher from what I remember.

    It was the first year when I've used liquid chlorine. Wondering if it has something to do with it . The water in a pool now is clear but with brown/yellow tint .
    Mu pool looks like giant bowl of dark urine now.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Since it sounds like the iron is already oxidized you can try putting paper towels or polyfill (pillow stuffing) in your skimmer basket. They can work like a filter and trap done of the iron. You'll know it's working if they start turning orange/brown.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Your first post is confusing. Did you fill that pool with well water or water from a pond?
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    That's what I did last night, I put my white shirt in a basket to see if it will have rust in a morning. I found absolutely white shirt next day. I guess the iron is in a form of solution . We have same kind in our well. The water is yellow but we never see any sediment or cloudiness or stains . Just yellow water

    - - - Updated - - -

    I filled it from pond. But our area is famous for iron in a water. We got it in a well water. So i've assumed it is iron.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    The sequestrant and the filtering (eg the slimebag in pool attached to a return) will solve your immediate problem.

    The test kit will help because I suspect without it you're having trouble maintaining your CYA:FC ratio because you need to accurately know your cya to choose the right FC level (eg if you're higher in chlorine than the ratio, it could be oxidizing the iron.) let s know hw it gets when you get it all sorted
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Just ordered Pink Stuff and waiting for arrival to try.
    While waiting wondering what else it could be besides iron.
    I've used water from pond in a past and never had this effect. I've never filled the whole pool with it , but added a lot sometimes
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    13,995 gallons 24 X 52 / above ground pool.../.SWG/ sand filter/ vinyl liner

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    Water in a pool looks like a tea. What can it be besides iron. Why this year?

    This year I've replaced all my green slimy frog infested water with water from pond. I've managed pH and added chlorine to bring FC to chock level. Now water looks like a tea.Transparent, no sediments, no rusty or any kind of staining. I did my research and it seems like it might be iron. On other hand my water looks different from other people description. It's not like "coffee ", it is nice shade of tea. What else could it be? I've ordered Pink stuff and waiting for arrival to try but already thinking what to do if it's not gonna work. I'm also wondering why it happened this year. I've topped the pool adding about 1/5 of a water in a past but never had reaction like this. Not even a tint of any color .
    Can you elaborate on it?
    Thank you.
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    Re: Water in a pool looks like a tea. What can it be besides iron. Why this year?

    I does still sound like metals to me as well. Even though the water may seem clear from the source, the iron level may be just enough to react to the bleach (FC) - especially at a higher shock level. If you lowered your FC it may actually change or fade some. It might still be a good idea to take some of that water (from the source not pool) to get tested to see if there is any metal in there. By the way, have you added any other products to the water other than the TFP-recommended items? Just in case, here's the TFP Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains page for more info if you haven't seen it already.
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    Re: Water in a pool looks like a tea. What can it be besides iron. Why this year?

    It could be tannins, try elevating FC to shock level for few days to a week, Chlorine CYA Chart
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    Re: Water in a pool looks like a tea. What can it be besides iron. Why this year?

    You have another thread going on this topic already, which makes it confusing and difficult to assist.

    1. Do you have a proper test kit yet? If so, post your numbers.

    2. Have you tried mechanical filtration with the slimebag I linked you to? It takes out more than just iron - likely deal for cleaning up pondwater.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    psihiart, I merged your two threads for forum efficiently and accuracy of your posts and brown water situation.
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    Re: Water turned brown. What to do?

    Ok, Here is update. I'm embarrassed and relieved at the same time. Was waiting for pink stuff and kept running pump and maintained shock chlorine level. On a third day water turned green and I got dark deposits on a bottom like I always did when I shocked my pool before. I appreciate your help, guys.
    Now, 2 days later pool is clean. I have to learn so much about my pool. Hopefully going to get a grip on it this year after I've found this site.
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